I know, I know, I’ve said that before. But I think it’s worth saying again, and just in case you haven’t been paying attention, let me catch you up to speed:
- Some estimates put plastic use at nearly 300 million tons annually, and according to the Plastic Pollution Coalition, Americans alone discard more than 30 million tons of plastic a year.
- It is clogging our oceans and waterways. Plastic constitutes approximately 90% of all trash floating in our oceans — a 2015 study estimated that 19.4 billion pounds of plastic wind up in the world’s oceans each year, and according to Greenpeace a garbage truck load of plastic enters our oceans every minute.
- The Plastic Pollution Coalition projects that by 2050 our oceans could contain more plastic than fish.
- A lot of that plastic congregates in this cool* (*not cool) place called the Great Pacific Garbage Patch — a patch of marine debris in our ocean that is potentially larger than the United States, visible from space, and growing.
- It also ends up in other weird, random and disturbing places in the ocean, like the Arctic Ocean, the Mariana Trench and Henderson Island (a remote, unpopulated island located 3,100 miles away for many population center).
- It is not biodegradable, instead it just breaks down into smaller and smaller pieces, which make it super easy for marine life to ingest. According to the Center for Biological Diversity, thousands of seabirds, sea turtles, seals and other marine mammals are killed each year after ingesting plastic or getting entangled in it.
- It also starts to contaminate our food supply, as fish and other animals ingest it and it enters the food chain.
- And plastic produces a lot of pollution to manufacture. According to National Geographic, if you were to fill a water bottle a quarter of the way up with oil, that would be how much oil was needed to produce said bottle.
So those are the facts in one big, fat, disturbing nutshell.
And I get it, plastic is kind of everywhere. It’s used to package food and also to eat said food; it’s used to bag produce, groceries and other purchases; it’s used for shipping and manufacturing. Like I said, everywhere.
But one of the biggest contributors to our plastic problem is single use plastic. And a lot of the talk around single use plastic tends to be around food and drink. Think about it — the plastic lid on your morning Starbucks, the plastic straw in your afternoon Starbucks, the plastic fork used to eat your lunch that came in a plastic container from Starbucks (too much Starbucks?), the produce bag you used grab a few things from the grocery store, etc., etc.
But another big culprit is the bath and body products we use everyday. According to the Environmental Working Group’s (EWG) Skin Deep Cosmetic Database, the average adult uses 9 personal care products every day — most of which are probably packaged in, you guessed it, plastic.
Well, let me stop you right there.
Plaine Products is here to save the day! The founders of Plaine Products wanted to provide natural, quality products in sustainable packaging that also made it easier for everyone to use a little less plastic in their lives. And that, my friends, is why they offer bath and body products in returnable, refillable and reusable packaging so that we can stop sending plastic bottles from our bathrooms to swim with the fishies (no seriously, only 1 in 5 people actually consistently recycle items from the bathroom). They offer shampoo, conditioner and body wash that can be purchased individually or as part of a subscription package. P.S. they also offer travel size — score. And the rad aluminum containers will look super cool in your bathroom — double score.
And besides offering a rad packaging solution, their product is pretty darn rad, too. Their shampoo, conditioner and body wash are free from sulfates, parabens, phthalates, never tested on animals, and are biodegradable. And all of their unique formulas are made using organic, natural and vegan ingredients that you can actually pronounce, like aloe vera, shea, mango butter and essence of rosemary, mint and vanilla (yes, please!). You can check out the full list for all their products here.
Plaine Products uses aluminum bottles because, unlike plastic, aluminum is able to be completely recycled without any loss in quality (and at a fraction of the initial production costs and energy usage); they are strong enough to survive multiple trips; and they are easily cleaned and sterilized.
They’ve worked closely on their packaging with EcoEnclose. So not only are their boxes made from a mix of 95% post-consumer water and 5% post-industrial waste — i.e. NO new materials used to make their shipping cartons — but they were also developed to withstand Plaine Products shipping refills and returning empty ars to be refilled and reused.
Sounds awesome, how do I sign up, you ask? Well, it’s simple, really.
Step 1: Order or subscribe to one (or all) of their awesome product(s). It will arrive at your door in a refillable bottle. Replace lid with pump. Rejoice! You can recycle the shipping box and the extra lid.
Step 2: When you are getting low, you can order a refill bottle. If you subscribed they will send a new bottle in the timeframe that works for you.
Step 3: When your current bottle is empty, rinse it out and switch the pump to the refill bottle.
Step 4: Put the refill bottle’s lid on your empty bottle and place it in the refill box. If you have more than one bottle, make sure the box is full before sending it back. Stick the enclosed return label over the existing shipping label (make sure it’s completely covered), and set it out for your postal carrier to pick up just like any other letter. Best part: they cover the cost of shipping to send it back.
Step 5: Tell all your friends how great it is, so they can start reducing their plastic waste, too.
To learn more about how you can reduce your plastic waste check out resources like Surfrider’s Rise Above Plastic campaign, the Plastic Pollution Coalition’s push to Refuse Single Use Plastic and the Plastic Free July Challenge (right around the corner, people!).